Sharing is Scary: Part 1 “Shaded Blue”

As some of you probably know and others may not, I’m a dancer.  I’ve been dancing sense age 4 and have built up quite an impressive resume over the years.  I love performing, being on stage, directing, choreographing, etc.  However, I’ve always had a hard time sharing my work while it’s in progress… or really sharing my work any other way but live.  I’ve decided that is something I want to work on- to overcome.  While I think dance, and most live performing arts are better live I know there is a huge outlet for it via video, online, etc.  I’ve decided, that to overcome this fear and to get my work seen by a few more eyes, I will work on releasing various performances, pieces, and clips of work here on the blog!

 I’m starting with a piece I did a few years ago that is truly one of my favorites and one that I would love to put on the stage again.  “Shaded Blue” was choreographed in 2012 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA as an assignment for my Choreo. 2 class.  The semester before in Choreo. 1, I set a piece about my father and our struggle with his cancer and the aftermath of losing him.  That work, “Holding On/ Chasing Dreams” was an emotionally charged piece that above anything else was a way for me to express what I had been through.  After working on a piece so deep and personal, I wanted to create a piece that was just movement for the heck of it!  Phrases that felt really good in the dancers bodies and didn’t tell a deeper story.  Something that moved and was happy and beautiful, creative and flowing.  I actually wrote out all the choreography on an airplane.  I could just see the piece in my head, I didn’t need to feel it in my body, I already knew what was coming next.  This quartet is set to an original piece of music by Kyle Lacy, titled “Iceberg Shade of Blue”.  In a way, we collaborated on creating the perfect track for the final performance, editing sound levels, length, vocals, etc. It was exciting to create a new dance to a new piece of music, I was able to pull inspiration from the raw music and share the work of another artist.  The performers are all friends and fellow dance majors from Agnes.  Setting this work on them was fun and in many ways, easy, because we could all communicate and just play in the early stages of choreography to create some movement that was personal and individualized for each dancer.

And now I have to share!!   Click here, here, or HERE to see the Promo short for “Shaded Blue”.  This is a 1 minute clip that should spark your interest and make you want to see the whole dance…  Then you can click This, that, or the other for the full length video!!!   I hope you enjoy 🙂   (yes- everything in orange is a hyperlilnk to my youtube channel and the indicated performance video.  You have plenty of options on where to click…. and hopefully you will watch more then once!)

I was constantly inspired and loved working on this piece of choreography.  But I know it does not stand alone.  I have begun work on a new solo which is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” and may be one of three in total!  Exciting things are happening and I plan to keep sharing, so keep an eye out for more “Sharing is Scary” entries that will contain snippets of new work and progress as well as (hopefully) thoughts and insight on my process.  

Please do continue to read, share, follow, like, and comment!

love always,  Christiane

And if you read this far, you get a bonus- here is a special release 15 second clip of the new solo http://instagram.com/p/sEIFF2m4EL/

Enjoy and know there is more to come!

Hey Girl, Hey: Cat Call Culture

So I wrote what has become this post a few weeks ago– more as a rant, on the train headed home one night. But after some things today, I decided to post it.

What prompted this you may ask? Well today I decided to dress up, as Wednesday is my Friday. I worn a dress that would be totally school appropriate- skirt to my knees, thick strapped, fully lined- and yet I got hollered at not once… Not twice… But 3 damn times!! (And not by the type I would appreciate it from). It upset me a bit- I didn’t dress this way to show off or impress anyone. I put on this outfit because it made me feel good and that makes me happy.

But instead I got to see and experience a side of our culture that pisses me off- why do men feel it’s OK to stare and call at women?

So, that brings me to the material I wrote a while ago and now feel I must post… It’s a comment on our culture, femininity, stereotypes, and boundaries.

” Rewind to late that morning. Picture me; hot, sweaty, and red in the face. Clad in sports bra, black tank-top, purple and black Lulu shorts, and running shoes. Clearly just released from an intense work out… Not making a conscious effort to show off or attract attention. And someone- some man- on the street corner decides it’s appropriate to whistle, holler, and stare at me as I make my way across the street to the train to go home– and make myself somewhat presentable for someone who actually matters… Someone I would spend the time to look decent or would care if they noticed.

Or how about this:: flashback to just a few hours ago (that night)– I’m happily settled on the idea of staying in my apartment, turning in early, and waking early for work… When the young, good looking, 23 year old lady in me decides it would be a little fun to go out and socialize- with friends and maybe a few drinks… (Isn’t that what people do on a Friday night? And make it look fun??) Not realizing it would turn into a late-night, “hit on the ladies at the bar” event. And me sitting in the train (thank goodness gracious the 1 train was running tonight), alone at 2:00 am.

Being an in shape, single woman (although the single part hardly matters) in New York City, I have come to realize what a male centered culture I’m living in. How much women, so often without even trying, come off as sexual, troublesome, and “asking for” attention.

OK, so yes I wore a dress- a non revealing dress- mind you. What makes you think it’s ok to holler at me on the street? Do you think I wore this for anyone other then myself? The answer is NO.

Or what makes you think it’s proper to stare at me at the gym. I know I have a 6-pack and triceps to kill for– but that’s for no one but myself. I work out for other reasons then to have strange men look at me– yet they seem to think it’s all for them.

How do you win? As a woman who is attractive, independent, focused and interested in different things then attention from strangers?? In a culture where “Cat Calling” on the street, staring on the train, and constantly being hit on is common place, what can you do?

Some ladies work it- seeking and soaking up attention by revealing ever so much cleavage, or wearing that very short skirt. They know how to steer the conversation at a bar in their favor and get drinks on someone else’s tab. Or have the spot light on them but no one touches. They have confidence on a different level… Or do they have less self confidence… So attention from strangers fixes that craving?
Me, I don’t need to hear everyday that I’m beautiful or strong or attractive (although it’s nice to hear from someone who matters to me and who’s opinion and eyes I value). I know I am and I have my own motivations (as jaded as they may be at times). In fact, I get infuriated when men think they can come up to me at a bar and out their arm around me. Buddy, you don’t know me and I’m not afraid to slug you one in the face… Maybe fracture your noise while I’m at it. What makes anyone think that’s OK to do? And why should any woman let that happen. You don’t NEED validation from a man- physically or emotionally- to be beautiful, strong, and amazing.

However, it seems we do- at times, in places- live in a culture where a woman is seen for her body and little else. And where so we go from there? Do we give in and fall into it? Into pleasing others- men- and settle for being beckoned like an animal or have comments made to us under a mans breath as they pass us on the street. I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever be able to do or really get used too. ”

Ok readers- what social comments or stories or experiences do you have to tell? What do you think is ok? Or not.

Comment, share, like, follow!

Love always, Christiane

20140820-231912-83952384.jpg

20140820-231911-83951345.jpg

20140820-231911-83951731.jpg

20140820-231912-83952114.jpg

20140820-231912-83952894.jpg

20140820-231913-83953250.jpg

Tippin’ the Scales, Pullin Away: Finding Balance

Happy Friday beautiful blog readers! I hope you all have had a good week and are looking forward tothe weekend! I’ve had a great, but busy week- which has inspired this post… All about finding balance. In every sense of the word. These are some personal accounts and observations about finding (and sometimes struggling with) balance in my life. I hope something in here speaks to each one of you or causes you to look at the balance (lack of it) in your lives.

Physically

Balance in the most literal sense. Like, if you stand on one foot can you stay there still and peaceful or are you wiggle-wobbling all over? After many years of dance and many many twisted ankles (my right ankle has been twisted at least 6 times), this was a sticking point for me for many years… and still is on rainy days ;-/ I didn’t know what really to do to “have better balance”. Usually in trying to achieve it, I would get more stressed and frustrated… and only become more unbalanced.

Now as a (more) physically active and away young adult, I’ve learned that there are many things that can to worked on to achieve better physical balance. One would be working on core strength and centering. Having a strong center (the powerhouse for the rest of the body and limbs) helps you transfer weight smoothly and evenly from one foot to the other. Working consistently on my core strength has also help me to overcome a 6 year old back injury- that only until recently did not flair up every time I did true pushups or heavy lifting!

Balance is something that needs to be practiced and revisited many times. It’s worked on in many dance or Pilates class you will go to. In fact, we did a single leg balancing series in my Pilates class today and I didn’t hardly waiver at all.  It felt really good to see and feel my personal progress.

Fitness

This really goes closely with physical balance, but in a different way.  Sometimes when I look at how much I run, hit the gym, or throw myself into a class, I’m surprised I’m still standing.  My stress relief is working out… a LOT. But there is such a thing as to much!  Balancing time in the gym and time to recover is important.  That recovery time give your body a chance to rebuild muscle and become stronger.  But when my head is spinning and the only relief is to be on the running trail, it’s important to be careful… overdoing it could be a lot worse then some tears.

I’ve found a nice balance… for now at least!  Trying to run 3+ miles every other day, and biking or walking on the off days.  Always stretching and doing core strengthening.  Then on days off, not even thinking about it!

I would be the one to push myself to far.  Last week i was in the gym for 3 hours.  Felt great and did some of everything and did it well… but then took the next 2 days off from high impact workouts.  The next time I went for a run, I felt better and was looking forward to it, rather then dragging myself through it.  Your body will thank you for this sense of balance.

Sleep vs. Awake

Now I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding a good balance between sleep and getting everything I need done in a day.  We all know some of the reasons sleep is so important- it’s a time for your body to rest and recover (either from the daily stress of life or from an injury or illness), sleep aids in memorization and productivity, it gives your body systems time to recharge, etc.  However, we all know that the demands of daily life in 2014 (especially in New York) don’t always understand or lend themselves to everyone getting those 8+/- uninterrupted hours of sleep.  I discovered on my trip to Illinois how tired I was.  The first few days there I literally fell asleep every 3 hours, for at least 1 hour, and finally felt like I was “caught up” on sleep.

I’m still struggling with this aspect of balance.  Even on days off, when I technically could sleep in and not be late for anything, I make myself rise at a relatively early hour.  If I stay in bed to long i end up feeling like I’ve waisted the day.  I will get up and go to the gym even when I want to stay in and rest.  Part of it is guilt, “waisted the day”. Part of it is knowing how much I want to get done in a day.  Part of it is fear, that if I stay inside and to myself I’ll get lonely and sad.

But there must be a good middle ground.  Turning in right after getting home at night to wake early the next morning and not feel exhausted all day at work.  Allowing some sleeping in, and being perfectly alright if everything on that To-Do list doesn’t get checked off that day.  It’s a process, finding that balance.

Emotionally

I seem to have a hard time finding and maintaining balance in this category.  It’s perfectly normal to have emotional reactions to various events- good, bad, happy, or sad, however sometimes I feel like my emotions are the ones calling the shots and not at all checking in ith the rest of me!  But emotions are not something we can actually see or touch… we can’t put a brace on them for stability.  So what can one do?

I found I got a graet emotional break when I got out of NYC and into the still, quiet, calm of my summer cottage in the valley.  I was able to get some perspective on my life, my situation, and my future.  I wasn’t constantly around reminders of that previous relationship or the place i used to call home.  I was able to distance myself and in doing so, came to a balance emotionally.  Harkening back to my previous post, EX-Factor, I was able to see, accept, acknowledge, and move on from what happened.  Allowing for this freed up some space to care and worry about other things- like myself and my rolls at work.  Being balanced physically and emotionally compliment one another and personally a least, have made me feel better about myself and more confident.

In just about everything else!

Balancing time with friends and time to one’s self.

Balancing one’s finances.

Balancing the good old diet.  This one I have fun with… as a bored eater, it’s sometimes hard to balance the snacking with the meals.  When am I actually hungry and need to eat vs.  when am I just eating cause it’s something to do.  Not to mention what are you putting in your body???  Are you getting a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, carbs, protein, sugar, fiber… all that other stuff!  Especially when I leave home at 7AM and don’t come back till 11PM it gets hard to always eat healthy and on the go, without chewing a hole threw my wallet!

Who knew one word would pop up so much and in so many different places!?!  And get a whole post to itself!  haha.  I guess it’s just that important and because I does appear in so many different places, it’s something pretty much everyone has dealt with and can relate to.  Sometimes it’s easier to find and achieve then others, but balance is something that one can always work on.

I carry a little reminder to stay balanced on my person everyday.  The tattoo on my right ankle.  A traditional Yin-Yang symbolizing harmony and balance.  You can’t know black without knowing its opposite, white.  Nothing can exist without it’s opposite, but there are proportions that (when maintained) allow for calm and “balance”.  Why my right ankle?  Well not only because that is my weaker ankle, but I’m right side dominant- so reminding me to mix it up and lead with the left.  And to have a personal reminder, in general, all the time.  For balance in every sense of the word… idea… life style.  And it’s beautiful!

Well… I don’t think I have to much more to say on this subject at the moment.  What helps you find balance in your life?  What is a struggle for you to balance?  I know I’m not alone in this… sometimes though it’s hard to see where things are sliding one way or the other.  It’s not always an easy quick fix either.  thoughts?

AND bonus point to the reader/follower who can name the source I’m referencing in this entry title!!!!!

So on that note and till next time- follow, like, comment, share, etc!

love always,  christiane

IMG_0476.JPG

The EX-Factor

Sometimes, as much as we love to hate them, or hate to love them, or love that they hate us, or hate that they hate us, or love that they hate us (I could go on) we have to eventually admit that our Ex(s), as in someone you were in a significant relationship with and are no longer with, influence our lives and our feelings.

Do you ever find it strange how many feelings and memories can be evoked by a location, a song, a smell, a color, a food, or even a way of life? Sometimes bringing back fond memories of a different time, sometimes reminding of heartbreak, confusion, and even self doubt.

securedownload

Now that I’m back in NYC (and I’m sorry, but isn’t that the MOST AMAZING pic. of Midtown NYC– as I flew over Manhattan from STL!!! click to enlarge it!) I’m finding this may be something I struggle with. For example, a year ago today… or maybe it was yesterday, I reconnected with someone who I truly thought I would spend the rest of my life with, in Bryant Park. We talked, laughed and started to lay the ground work for a future. Fast forward to right now, and my life track looks like it’s just me… but I still have a hard time visiting Bryant Park. Just being there reminds me of that night that changed everything. So what do I do? -Go there everyday and wallow in my regret and sadness, wishing I could go back and change things so I’d still be happy? -Never set foot in that park again and avoid it at all costs, in so doing, miss out on all the events hosted there year round? No, that all sounds like it’s going a little over board and bordering on crazy. Instead, when I find myself chilling in Bryant Park, I acknowledge the memories and the feelings, but I let them go… and I enjoy my time.

I have a dear friend who very recently went through something very similar to my recent events. She retreated home in order to get ahold of her feelings and make a plan to take her life in a new direction. The other day she was headed to a wedding with family. Once at the venue, it hit her that she and her significant other had been there just weeks earlier and had enjoyed a wonderful evening. Now being back and alone, all those emotions hit her… hit her hard. Tears began as she tried to make her way into the reception room and join her family, but the memories won out- she turned and high tailed it out of there.

Can you blame her? I know those feelings all to well. All we can do is hope that time will make it easier to cope and that eventually these places will hold new and better memories for us.

However, not all Factors are something as easy as a location. This is where my current struggle kicks in. My now-Ex and I had begun a very strict vegetarian diet and lifestyle together… and now that I’m on my own I’m having trouble deciding if I should (or want to) remain vegetarian or, if in attempting to “purge” myself of all reminders of him (ya right, not!), I should let it go and eat whatever I want.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I have found I naturally tend to lean towards a vegetarian diet regardless (I really don’t like to handle raw meat, so I don’t cook it often) and I have come to truly LOVE many of the vegetarian meals I have been introduced too. Am I holding onto something by continue with this lifestyle choice? I know that I do feel better when I eat less heavy meats and I’m enjoying trying new foods that otherwise I may never try. But it does remind me of him… and as we have to eat somewhat consistently… it’s almost a consistent reminder. Eventually I know it won’t be, but for the present moment… sigh.

This whole experience and how I’ve managed to (somewhat) overcome it and continue to live, has been a true eye opener. You may never realize how closely tied your life is with someone else until they are no longer a part of it, for better or worse. Then it’s a healing and growing process… which, as much as we wish it would just happen over night… actually takes a lot of time (whether we admit it to ourselves and others or not).  Sometimes it seems like the easiest answer is to delete all reminders of that other person (I don’t do this but I know someone who does) and pretend like it’s not something that keeps us up at night, or surfaces after a few to many drinks, or seems like it would be a comfort when things are hard and no one is there for you.  (more on this concept in a post coming soon).

So, what’s your Ex-Factor? What things stir up memories that you struggle with? 

Feel free to Share, Comment, Like, Follow, ETC!

There are some great posts on the way, including some travel stories with great pictures, the importance of balance and how I find that, and my newest post work-out treat! So I know you will want to stay tuned 😉

Love always, Christiane

This Town ain’t Big Enough for the 2 of Us

Have you ever thought, “I’ll never run into anyone I know in this huge big city!”  “How great, I can re-invent myself here, I doubt I’ll meet anyone I know”. 

 

Well, let me tell you, I used to think that way about NYC and quickly figured out this was not truly the case.  Over the past year or so in New York City, I’ve come to the realization that while the city itself is heavily populated, the island of Manhattan is quite small.  According to City of New York Department of City Planning (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/census/popcur.shtml), in 2010 the reported population in New York City was an estimated  8,175,133 people with 1,585,873 of those residing on Manhattan.  The island of Manhattan itself has a total area of 23.7 square miles, measures 13.4 miles in length, and 2.3 miles at it’s widest.   (http://www.nycgo.com/articles/nyc-statistics-page)   So really, one is not all that far away from a LOT of people.  

On more then one occasion I’ve totally randomly ended up on the same train car right next to someone I know and maybe haven’t seen or talked to in years. For example-this past Friday I was catching the A train uptown from an evening of yoga classes in SoHo and who do I sit catty corner to?? Why Michael Wells, my swing partner (in crime) of 3 years back when we were in The Rug Cutters at Decatur School of Ballet!! Now of course I didn’t realize who it was right away. We were both sitting, reading, and in general tuning out anything on the New York subway that was happening. It wasn’t until we both looked up listening to the train announcer that we caught each other’s eye, took a moment to process who we were seeing, that we both broke into huge smiles and nearly screamed “Oh my GOD! I know you!“… Then proceeded to catch each other up on the past several years of our lives.This was a happy train run in. We’d been in the same city for over a year, sooner or later seems like we were bound to happen upon one another.

 

With the result of recent events in my life, I’ve come to wonder if this city is big enough for the two of us… ya know. Two people with similar (not the same… Clarifying that!) interests and similar commutes. What happens if… when we run into each other? Is this city big enough to keep us away and apart. If that’s what one wants, I guess so… New York can make or break dream, so why can’t it drive people together or apart? I suppose it can… It has.  

I suppose the reason behind this post, as random as it seems, is this:  As summer draws to a close and we return back to the city to prepare for what the Fall and Winter will bring what will happen.  I’m not backing down from whatever dream it is that I’m living out here but neither should anyone else.  So if there ever were to be that 1 in 100 train run in… how will it go down?  Is this city big enough for the both of us?

 

Comment, share, like, follow.  Instagram and Twitter  @NYChristiane

 

love always, Christiane

 

 

20140721-183444-66884429.jpg

20140721-183444-66884144.jpg

I’m Melting! A piece on people.

If you are in New York City, then you know that it rained today. Of course, it started a full on storm just as I was leaving one job and deciding what to do before the next one. I decided not to rush anywhere, to leisurely make my way uptown. On doing so, I had time to notice the people around me.
Here’s what I saw-

The moment a drop of water fell, full on chaos broke out on the street. People fumbling to open umbrellas or breaking into a run to get under cover. Anything to get out of the water. Aggression doubled and along with the usual “head down, I’m not gonna look where I’m going and run into you… But it’s still your fault” attitude.

It’s a little water- is it really gonna do all that much harm? I had a realization. We have no problem dressing and going out into the sun and the heat. Sweating in our clothes and combating damp frizzy hair… So what is the difference with rain???

Be it sweat or rain water clothes (my clothes anyway) are damp, sticky, and clingy AND hair (my hair at least) is plastered down on top and sure to frizz up as soon as it even things about drying out.

So why don’t we… They… People, suddenly burst into a crazy fit the minute they feel a drop of perspiration the way we… they.. People do as soon as they feel a drop of precipitation ?

Unless you are the Wicked Witch of the West, a little water probably never hurt you that much… I can 99.9% guarantee you won’t melt !

This is what I thought about as I struggled past hordes of pedestrians crowding under the 59th St. Subway entrance

20140715-152849-55729209.jpg and defiantly walked up Broadway without an umbrella (which was tucked in my bag), enjoying the rain on my skin. Cause I sure think it feels better then being covered in sweat!

20140715-153751-56271324.jpg
“Live for cloudy days. Remember. Hold hands. Walk in the rain. Let clouds reflect in your eyes.”

We- people- Homo sapiens, are funny creatures. We can be impulsive but hide our instincts. Why? Is that one of the age old questions? I’ll leave it unanswered… For now.

And well, that’s what I thought about as I commuted underground and through the wet streets of the city between jobs. I thought I’d share this and ask if anyone else has felt this way. Or notice these funny quirks about ourselves. People.

Continue to share, follow, like, and comment! I hope you all like the blog- I’m so glad to be writing again!!

Love always, Christiane

And watch out- today was only 80% chance precipitation– tomorrow is 100%!!

TGI…F! almost to perfect

Hot water- Check
Lavender epsom salt- Check
Bubbles- Check
Easy reading book- check
Relaxed…

almost check.

Yes- after an early morning, a few hours at work, and a long walk up 3rd Ave, I finally made my way home to a quiet apartment and had prepared myself a wonderful bath. I wanted nothing more then to sit in peace and relative quiet letting the hot water work it’s magic and relax my tired feet and sore back while reading the last few chapters of “The Devil Wears Prada” (yes, I reference it all the time… ok ok, no comment).

No sooner had I finally felt just a tiny bit of calmness soak into my body then someone starts banging… pounding really… on the apartment door. Ringing the door bell and POUNDING! As I tried to tune it out, telling myself it must be a delivery or someone selling something (because believe me, nothing was gonna pry me out of that hot water and bubbles), my phone began ringing– the building super. I answer but of course can’t understand a word he is trying to say… so I fly out of the tub and throw on something decent. He’s outside the door, looking upset…

Apparently our tub can’t handle baths and had flooded into the apartment below us. To the minute I have no idea how that managed to happen, as it has no cracks and the water wasn’t overflowing onto the floor or was barely close to full (granted the bubbles made it look much more full… but not the water)!! I was quickly deprived of my relaxing quiet time and thrown back into reality… where I seem to have an endless “To Do” list and tight neck.
20140711-204904.jpg

I realize however, that if the biggest complaint of my day is that my bath was cut short, I don’t have it all that bad.

Had a productive meeting with my boss at work– that is the planned starting point for my post tomorrow– and enjoyed NOT having plans all afternoon so I could take a long leisurely walk up 3rd Ave. from 16th to 65th (and called that my workout for the day) in search of some jewelry at Pier 1.

20140711-205049.jpg

I realized today though, how much I want… no, NEED the upcoming 2 week trip to souther Illinois and our family summer cottage on the Mississippi River. The things you learn to live with- the noise for one… like how I spent easily 30 minutes heading an endless beeping noise but not bothering to investigate it cause I thought it was outside when it was just my roommates alarm–, or without for that matter- like a car or time outside… walking everywhere because the subway is SO hot and you are inside at work most of the time so a little sunshine is needed-, can end up driving you crazy but this city is so non-stop you hardly realize… sometimes only when it’s to late.

Some of that I’m sure I will touch on later… there are obviously things I’m beating around the bush writing… partly because it’s hard, partly because I know that a wrong word or phrase or description of the situation could cast a very bad light on people I do care about and that’s not what I have any intention of doing… so saying no more until I can say it right.

And I guess that’s a wrap on this post! I think I’m going to enjoy what is left of my quiet Friday night with desert and a movie. Go to bed early and be up for work bright and early tomorrow.

Thank you all for following, liking, commenting, and sharing… but most of all thank you for reading this blog. I love writing and while I know it’s more like a journal at time, I hope to get it some structure and theme and just continue to share with you all my life adventures in NYC… cause that’s were it all started if I remember correctly!!

Love always, Christiane

20140711-205234.jpg